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Springfield veterans cemetery issued $2.6M expansion grant

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The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ National Cemetery Administration issued a $2.6 million grant to Springfield’s Missouri State Veterans Cemetery.

The grant will fund the construction of 2,560 columbarium niches — above-ground facilities for urns — on 10 acres, giving additional space for the remains of 54,000 area veterans and their families. U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., announced the grant funding in a news release.

“The men and women who gave everything for our country, to keep us safe and protect our freedoms, deserve nothing less than the utmost dignity and respect,” McCaskill said in the release. “This addition will allow thousands of fallen Missourians and their families the opportunity for a final resting place that honors that sacrifice.”

The 60-acre veterans cemetery at 5201 S. Southwood Road has the capacity for roughly 30,000 grave sites and is nearly at capacity. It also currently has two columbariums, as well as a committal shelter — where interment services take place away from the grave site — and an administration and maintenance area, according to MVC.DPS.Mo.gov.

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